Leadership and technology vital in protecting the aged

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Amy Vogelsmeier, RN, Ph.D.
Amy Vogelsmeier, RN, Ph.D.
Robust leadership skills, enhanced safety practices and adoption of key technologies are required to meet the needs of individuals needing long-term care, according to new research.

Mandates and incentives offered to providers under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are intended to help providers get up to speed on technologies for residents, but technology alone is just part of the equation, says Amy Vogelsmeier, Ph.D., RN, assistant professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing at the University of Missouri.

Vogelsmeier analyzed data from an intervention study of nursing homes that implemented electronic medication systems and focused quality improvement efforts to enhance medication safety practices. Then she compared how nursing leaders from high- and low-performing facilities differed in their leadership strategies.

“Although technology plays a role in improving safety, technology alone isn't the answer,” Vogelsmeier said.  “The reality is that implementation is much more complicated than people realize. It's not just a ‘bring it in and turn it on' kind of thing; it will take strong leadership within organizations to implement technological systems in ways that will enhance patient safety rather than hinder it.”

Vogelsmeier added, “We need more sophisticated ways to take care of this aging population. Strong leadership is necessary for all organizations to move toward growth and improvement.”
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